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STARs shining bright

Avalon Wood

Imagine yourself in a room where an abundance of laughter echoes out the windows and doors. Where joy uncontainable bursts forth from the hearts of every survivor present in the room. Welcome to the “ALL STAR’s Camp 2019,” held in partnership with She Works and Made in Hope.

Over the duration of three days, survivors are able to celebrate their victories, engage in spiritual transformation, and participate in life skill workshops. The camp is designed to allow survivors of sexual exploitation to experience healing and to flourish as future community leaders.

Standing Together Advocating Rights, also known as ‘STAR’, is an IJM Aftercare program developed for rescued victims of sexual exploitation. The program aims to empower survivors as leaders who can encourage other survivors, while also advocating for change in their own communities and country.

IJM Aftercare desires all our survivors to be restored and to be able to function in society with low-to-no vulnerability of being re-victimised. This means providing opportunities for training on character and skills development in the context of a safe and supportive community.

One of the STAR participants shares:

Learning about advocacy is important as we can serve the community in bringing awareness for the safety of children.

Who better to advocate against and educate communities on human trafficking than a survivor who once was trapped but is now free and stands for a brighter future for others? IJM STARs are catalysing change as they become a voice for the voiceless on behalf of those still enslaved.

Proverbs 31:8 echoes:

Speak out on behalf of the voiceless, and for the rights of all who are vulnerable.

Our survivors are truly STARs shining brightly!

Avalon Wood is from Brisbane and served as an Aftercare Intern at IJM Manila. Learn more about overseas internships and fellowships with IJM here.

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